Colorado teen boy, 17, Aidan Zellmer sentenced to life jail after sexually assaulting and beating his 10 year old step-sister, Kiaya Campbell to death when he was 15 years old.
A 17 year old Colorado teen boy who sexually assaulted and killed his 10-year-old stepsister has been sentenced to life in prison.
Aidan Zellmer, 17, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2017 death of Kiaya Campbell last month in Adams County District Court.
The teen was due to be charged with first-degree murder with intent and after deliberation, and first-degree murder of a child under the age of 12 by a person in a position of trust but in exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped the additional count of first degree murder and a sexual assault charge against the teen.
The Denver Post reported Kiaya being the daughter of Zellmer’s mother’s boyfriend.
‘In 27 years as a prosecutor, I have never seen a 15-year-old commit such a violent act,’ 17th Judicial District Attorney Dave Young said.
‘He wanted to do this… His actions certainly dictate that he intended to kill her and it took quite an effort to do it. And then to conceal it, not only to hide the body but mislead. Certainly indicates that his brain was developed and he knew what he was doing,’ Young reiterated.
Aidan Zellmer eligible for parole after 40 years in prison, but could get out in 30 years:
Kiaya disappeared on the night of June 7, 2017, while walking to the store with Zellmer.
Her body was found beaten to death in a ravine the following day just a mile away from the home in Thorton where Kiaya’s father lived with his girlfriend and her two sons.
A metal object is alleged to have been used no less than five times to strike the girl who was left by the side of a ditch road as her step brother fled.
Zellmer, who was 15 at the time, initially told investigators that he and Kiaya were separated when he started running to escape a rainstorm. Neighbors disputed that there was rain in the area that night.
Due to Zellmer’s age at the time of the murder, he will automatically be eligible for parole after serving 40 years in prison, but could get out in 30 years with reductions in time for good behavior.
Zellmer will serve the first two years of his sentence in a juvenile detention facility before being transferred to an adult prison when he turns 18.
The teen son’s sentencing follows Zellmer’s defense attorney citing the teen’s mental health issues, troubled family history and alleged abuse.
Young said Zellmer’s guilty plea offers some relief to Kiaya’s family by avoiding the stress of a trial, where he would have been tried as an adult.
‘A 10-year-old’s life is gone, and her parents are going to be without her for the rest of their lives,’ he told CBS.
‘I think there’s a sense of relief that they have some closure in the criminal justice center. But nothing we do here today is going to bring them absolute relief for what happened to their daughter.’
Yet to be necessarily understood is what compelled the brother to set on his younger stepsister so viciously and how long the youth had planned the girl’s demise.